Monday, September 29, 2008
It is HOT today and we didn't feel like doing much. But boiling a pot of water isn't too hard and doesn't heat up the house too much.
Last time I was at Trader Joe's, I spied (and picked up) some dried three cheese tortellini. Jeff boiled those up and we tossed in a jar of garlic basil pasta sauce. We had that with Private Selection organic baby spring mix, croutons, and dressing of our choice.
The tortellini were tempting even before we added the sauce! They fill the house with a delectable cheesy smell. The tortellini are $1.79 for a bag; a bag makes about 5 servings. The jar of sauce, with coupon, was $0.90 or so. So, main dish for all of us for $2.80-ish. Emma, who grumped when we told her what was for dinner and said she did not WANT pasta, ate a large-ish serving and asked for more. Bridey asked for seconds and thirds.
We've been really into the Private Selection organic baby spring mix lately. PS is a Kroger brand (around here that means Ralph's.) If you buy the small container it's a bit more expensive, but if you buy the large container it works out to about the same price per ounce as the regular bagged salads-- and they're not organic, or usually as fresh! Once I open it I stick a paper towel in the top to absorb condensation and change it every few days, which helps keep it un-wilted. A large (recyclable) bin will last us for about a week, sometimes more, depending how many days we have salad. Even the kids adore the baby spring mix (which is a tad less bitter than mature) if they get to choose their dressing. And let's face it, around here, salad is more likely to be eaten if it comes in pre-prepped.
So all in all, we ate about $0.60 worth of salad and "fixin's." Grand total: $3.40 for all of us. Not bad at all for a "convenience foods" meal!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
This, of course, necessitated a bath. But she has outgrown the sink now. So, we got out the duckie tub that we used with Emma, since she doesn't sit up yet so is not quite big enough for the regular tub.
She seemed comfortable enough once she figured out what it was about.
She liked playing with the rubber duckie we gave her.
Until she saw her feet, that is.
She was not so sure about being shampooed and rinsed off.
But she was very cute once she was all clean!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
All my girls have been quite fond of turkey and sweet potatoes both, so I'm not really surprised... It makes me a little sad and proud at the same time to see her getting so big, though! I just can't wait to see her get as big as her sisters, and at the same time I wish that day would hold off forever and she could always be my baby. It's one of the paradoxes of motherhood (or I suppose I should say, parenthood); you simultaneously are excited for every milestone, and wish they could stay little forever. I think it is probably because we know that things only get more complicated; we want to protect them and keep them from harm forever, because we love them so much. But at the same time we know that it's right and good and necessary for them to grow and develop. *sigh*
I guess that's why I'm starting to hanker for another one...
Bridey climbed up and watched, enthralled, then pointed her little finger at the screen and yelled, "I want do that!!!"
Maybe next year I should take them to the Irish Fair so they can watch some live. They would ADORE that!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
You can do it too!
Copy the list, bold the ones you have done, leave the ones you haven't un-bolded (did I just make that word up?)
Things I have done are bold.
1. Touched an iceberg
2. Slept under the stars
3. Been a part of a hockey fight
4. Changed a baby's diaper
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Swam with wild dolphins
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a tarantula
10. Said "I love you" and meant it
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Bet on a winning horse
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Taken an ice cold bath
28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Ridden a roller coaster
31. Hit a home run
32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
33. Adopted an accent for fun
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment
36. Loved your job 90% of the time
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Watched wild whales
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach
41. Gone sky diving
42. Visited Ireland
43. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited India
45. Bench-pressed your own weight
46. Milked a cow
47. Alphabetized your personal files
48. Ever worn a superhero costume
49. Sung karaoke
50. Lounged around in bed all day
51. Gone scuba diving
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Done something you should regret, but don't
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Been in a movie
60. Gone without food for 3 days
61. Made cookies from scratch
62. Won first prize in a costume contest
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Been in a combat zone
65. Spoken more than one language fluently
66. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone - verbal not physical
67. Bounced a check
68. Read - and understood - your credit report
69. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
70. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
71. Called or written your Congress person
72. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
73. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
74. Helped an animal give birth
75. Been fired or laid off from a job
76. Won money
77. Broken a bone
78. Ridden a motorcycle
79. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph
80. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
81. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
82. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read The Bible cover to cover
86. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
87. Gotten someone fired for their actions
88. Gone back to school
89. Changed your name
90. Caught a fly in the air with your bare hands
91. Eaten fried green tomatoes
92. Read The Iliad
93. Taught yourself an art from scratch
94. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
95. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
96. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
97. Been elected to public office
98. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
99. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
100. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
101. Had a booth at a street fair
102. Dyed your hair
103. Been a DJ
104. Rocked a baby to sleep
105. Ever dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all four
106. Raked your carpet
107. Brought out the best in people
108. Brought out the worst in people
109. Worn a mood ring
110. Ridden a horse
111. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap
112. Cooked a dish where four people asked for the recipe.
113. Buried a child
114. Gone to a Broadway (or equivalent to your country) play
115. Been inside the pyramids
116. Shot a basketball into a basket
117. Danced at a disco
118. Played in a band
119. Shot a bird
120. Gone to an arboretum
121. Tutored someone
122. Ridden a train
123. Brought an old fad back into style
124. Eaten caviar
125. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn’t need
126. Ridden a giraffe or elephant
127. Published a book
128. Pieced a quilt
129. Lived in an historic place
130. Acted in a play or performed on a stage
131. Asked for a raise
132. Made a hole-in-one
133. Gone deep sea fishing
134. Gone roller skating
135. Run a marathon
136. Learned to surf
137. Invented something
138. Flown first class
139. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury suite
140. Flown in a helicopter
141. Visited Africa
142. Sang a solo
143. Gone spelunking
144. Learned how to take a compliment
145. Written a love-story
146. Seen Michelangelo’s David
147. Had your portrait painted
148. Written a fan letter
149. Spent the night in something haunted
150. Owned a St. Bernard or Great Dane
151. Ran away
152. Learned to juggle
153. Been a boss
154. Sat on a jury
155. Lied about your weight
156. Gone on a diet
157. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget
158. Written a poem
159. Carried your lunch in a lunch box
160. Gotten food poisoning
161. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission
162. Hiked the Grand Canyon
163. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks
164. Gone to the opera
165. Gotten a letter from someone famous
166. Worn knickers
167. Ridden in a limousine
168. Attended the Olympics
169. Can hula or waltz
170. Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books
171. Been stuck in an elevator
172. Had a revelatory dream
173. Thought you might crash in an airplane
174. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert
175. Saved someone’s life
176. Eaten raw whale
177. Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint
178. Laughed till your side hurt
179. Straddled the equator
180. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing
181. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival
182. Sent a message in a bottle
183. Spent the night in a hostel
184. Been a cashier
185. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
186. Joined a union
187. Donated blood or plasma
188. Built a camp fire
189. Kept a blog
190. Had hives
191. Worn custom made shoes or boots
192. Made a PowerPoint presentation
193. Taken a Hunter’s Safety Course
194. Served at a soup kitchen
195. Conquered the Rubik’s cube
196. Know CPR
197. Ridden in or owned a convertible
198. Found a long lost friend
199. Helped solve a crime
200. Responded to a NJP newsletter
If you copy this, leave me a link in the comments so I can read yours!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
She loves it!
The Regent harnesses to 80 lbs. with a top harness height of 20 inches. Jaden is 4 years old, 43 lbs.-ish with about a 16 inch torso. She has years to grow in it!
I'm ecstatic that she likes it. By Texas law (where she lives) she could have been in a seatbelt only when she turned 5 OR was 36 inches tall (which she was at 3!) even though it is not safe to put children in an adult seatbelt only until they pass the five-step test. And if there aren't enough seatbelts, by Texas law children can ride held in a lap! :0 That blows my mind, and makes me really sad, that the Texas legislature cares so little about the safety of children. Luckily, her mother and father know better, and want her to be as safe as possible! Hopefully Jaden will be a good example for the other children around her and tell them how safe she is riding in her big-girl seat! (Hey, I've already got my four year old saying, "That boy needs a carseat" and "that baby has a belly clip!" LOL!)
Monday, September 15, 2008
(Just a minute ago Emma mentioned Grandma Pam's house and Bridget heard. She said, "Grandma Pam, house? I LOVE Grandma Pam, house!" So cute.)
I won't try to list all the deals here; Baby Cheapskate is tracking the deals, check it out!
Jaden's Regent was bought today and should get there next week or so!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Let me backtrack a little. Thursday we found out that he was going to the hospital. He has ALS, as I've mentioned before; he had pneumonia, a really bad case that had progressed to sepsis. And of course because of the ALS it's harder for him to fight things off, especially things that involve breathing.
It was really hard to see him in the hospital. While we were waiting to hear if he'd even be awake for us to go see him and such, we ended up going to the thrift store. I did find some awesome books. I listed them on eBay but if they don't sell I think I'm keeping them!!!
Then Saturday we got up early and I headed to choir practice. After I got done with that we went to my mom's house but on the way hit a yard sale. I got a Pack and Play for $3, and a whole bunch of clothes for the girls (mostly winter clothes for Bridey; Emma skipped from a 2T to a 4T and Bridey is firmly a 3T, we don't have a lot of clothes that fit her, but a few for Emma and Maggie, too) for 25 cents a piece. Then we went to my mom's; her former boss (retired) was there, and they took pictures of Maggie doing different things for a presentation they're making for parents on what to do and not to do to ensure a nice round head in your baby (preventing positional plagiocephaly, which has spiked really high since the "Back to Sleep" campaign started, with proper positioning techniques, tummy time, etc.) She made us spaghetti for lunch. We all enjoyed that.
We didn't make the evening session of Stake Conference Saturday night because it is "adults only" and there's no way we could keep the kids under control and not disturb people, and we didn't have a babysitter.
This morning we were at the Stake Center at 8:30 for choir practice again. When we finished the last song, Bridget was ready to go, poor thing! (It did not make sense for them to go home and come back because they'd only end up with 15 minutes at home or so before it was time to come back-- and they'd lose the sweet parking spot we scored, actually in the SC parking lot instead of in the school parking lot backing up to the SC, so 10 minutes less of walking, and even in the shade!)
Stake Conference was good. I heard a lot of things I needed to hear. In particular I loved the Primary President's talk. I really needed that one, though she directed it to the children it was for the parents just as much. And I was interested to hear the big focus on getting out of consumer debt; our stake has been challenged by our Stake President (who used to be my bishop and I love him and his family so much) to be consumer debt free by 2010 (this is not inculding houses and school loans but is including cars, credit cards, and everything else.) Luckily we are in a position where we have already been able to start paying this debt off. We may have another car payment by then, but are hoping to have it mostly paid off. (We will have to get another car if we have another child, because we're using all the seats in our Corolla right now!) And there was also emphasis on teaching our children and those around us good spending/saving habits. The Primary children are going to be provided with savings banks from the Stake Presidency that have 3 parts; one for tithing, one for saving for a mission or education, and one for spending.
The choir was so big we overflowed the rather poorly designed loft, and three or four of us had to be down on the pews and walk up. However we had less than we had thought so there were 3 empty rows that had been reserved for us; I volunteered to sit down there and got to have my family with me. A very nice lady held Maggie through much of the meeting so I could get up and down with the choir. Emma fell asleep on the pew; Jeff took Bridey and later Maggie too to the Nursery room (where they had toys out and also had a video feed from the chapel so the adults could hear the talks.)
I had an asthma attack near the end. It was pretty bad; it took 6 hits from my inhaler to even start breathing properly and 2 more before I was completely breathing. I was shaking so badly from the albuterol when we got up to sing the closing number that I forgot I was supposed to sing second soprano until halfway through the verse... Oops... I did manage to hit the high note at the end, though. (One of the first sopranos couldn't hit the note so she switched parts with me just for the last line.) We sang my favorite arrangement of "The Spirit of God." I really love this one because it's so powerful, especially if you think of it the way I do, as a metaphor. See, it starts out with a solo tenor voice. Then the tenor is joined by a baritone. Then they are joined by a small group of men, then all the men, then the women, and in our case we added the congregation on the last verse. I think of it like a metaphor for the growth of the church and it has always added a lot to my appreciation of the piece.
So anyway... It was a weekend of ups and downs. I don't really know how much longer Uncle Bob is going to last. As much as for his sake I hope he does not have to suffer too long in a body that doesn't work while he retains full consciousness of what is going on, I hope for our sake to have him a little longer. It's confusing and it hurts and... Well, I guess I will just have to try to appreciate whatever time we are given to be with him. There are some things I want to do with him. I want him to hear Emma do her reading lessons before he goes, that would make him so proud (he's one I really talked things out with before deciding to homeschool, before his diagnosis and before he went downhill so fast, physically speaking.) And I want him to see Emma dance. And I want him to see Maggie grow and Bridget mature. But I don't know how much of that will even be possible (well, in this world. I'm sure he'll care for them after he is gone. But you know what I mean.)
This dying stuff is hard. :(
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Anyway, today Emma has been my helper. I had a bad migraine, it started out atypical with just a lot of vertigo and some light sensitivity, but progressed to headache and auras and even short blackouts quickly enough. Jeff came home at lunch and got the kids food and Bridey down in the crib for a nap before he left (which she eventually took) but in the meantime Emma brought me a diaper, water and lemonade mix to make them drinks, even washed out the cup Bridey wanted to use (with soap and everything!) Then she was very good all day. She got herself snacks when she needed them, poured her own drinks, brought me diapers and such when I needed them. She was very good. And she fed Maggie her cereal tonight (that has been her job lately since we found out that Maggie eats better for her than for either of us!) I'm just very proud to see how she can really help out when I really need her. With ALMOST no complaining...
Tonight we had pizza and salad for dinner. Jeff at first neglected to give the kids their salad (which is nothing but organic baby spring mix with dressing.) They both DEMANDED IT! You do not know how funny it is to hear a little two year old voice saying, "Gimme sah-lat! Sah-lat! Pweese!" and then chomping down on spinach and red leaf and green leaf lettuce and all other kinds of raw greens until you've experienced it... Then Emma had to have some too, of course! Oh, Bridey also stole her Easy-Up when Jeff wasn't looking and tried to put it on herself, too! And she has been BEGGING, "I want go dance class! Dance class please!" *sigh* They grow up so fast...
Thursday, September 04, 2008
This is Emma ready to go, dressed and hair carefully pulled up and clipped out of her face. (Bridey ran in as I was taking the picture.) Note the little backpack; she used to carry her clothes and Pull-Ups to preschool (and papers and used clothes home) in that, now it holds her dance shoes (and during the week her dance clothes, which she is wearing in this pic. The t-shirt comes with the yearly registration fee, and the pants she picked out herself, at Target.)
Here she is waiting for the teacher. There's a little area outside her classroom (the little ones are in the smallest classroom.) They have water dispensers which were a BIG hit with both girls. Here you can see her ballet shoes (kind of.)
This picture (and the others that look like it) are poorer quality because they're shots of the tv monitor that parents can view the class on CCTV on. Here you can see Emma not quite cooperating with the stretching...
Here's Bridey, she wanted her picture taken while Emma was in class. She played with Maggie, ran around, and later I got her a coloring book and crayons (which they keep in the main waiting area) and she colored Cookie Monster blue, all on her own, with no prompting and very carefully.
Here Emma is starting to get into it a little more, and is at least attempting the arms over the head. The other little girl who was in her class is a few months older than her, but has been taking ballet at The Little Gym for a year so was more experienced with the ballet they did.
This was the only part of the ballet portion of the class Em really seemed to like a lot, you can see her getting into waving the ribbons:
...and not listening when told it's time to go put them away, and going running off to the side and keeping on dancing with them instead!
After a water break and changing shoes, they started tap, which Emma enjoyed more. Unfortunately Maggie was fussing at that point and I don't have as many pictures. But here is Emma watching intently what to do with her feet...
...and enthusiastically copying it!
Here is Emma and her classmate, it was a bit of a trick to get them both smiling at the same time, as the little girl's one year old brother had spilled water on Emma and so she was having a sensory fit, and the girl did not know me and was a bit hesitant to smile for a stranger's camera.
So that was the dance class, it went as well as I had expected and I think as Emma gets more used to the teacher and the setting, she will do better and will be more willing to try things and follow directions. I'm really glad we enrolled her. Now, Bridey kept trying to run in and dance, too... She even tried to put on a pair of tap shoes someone had left in the cubbies in the waiting area! They have one class a week for kiddoes her age, I suppose we will have to consider enrolling her. (But it's in the morning. When she's usually asleep. Not that she wouldn't leap out of her crib joyfully to go dance...) Anyway, we're considering it!
All of our homeschool stuff is getting into swing... Emma's writing stuff is on the way and our reading book has arrived (though I decided not to start it until we can do writing and reading together, that should be next week, after we tried one lesson.) This is our important social event of the week as well as P.E. So I guess you could say we have officially started homeschooling even though so far it's just dance class! Yippee!
Monday, September 01, 2008
Thursday night Emma got home from her last day at preschool (both happy and sad) and we signed her up for dance classes. She was excited!
Friday we just kind of hung around, then went to Target. We got some socks and pants for her dance class (turns out they don't have to have leos yet; just comfy shirts and pants or shorts, and appropriate shoes. That's a relief because I did NOT want to pay full price for a white leotard, which is the beginning ballet uniform at her school! But turns out she's not in beginning dance, technically, she's in the "tots" class instead. Well, that saves us some money!!!)
Friday night we went to dinner at Souplantation. I love Souplantation. And it's cheap; Bridey is free, Emma is less than $2, we always have coupons and save a dollar or so on our meals, and the kids' drinks are free because we purchased kids' cups for them a while back, which you can bring back and reuse without charge.
Saturday morning we went to Grandpa and Grandma Sheri's house; Grandma Sheri had picked up some not-used-looking tap shoes (they weren't worn in the bottom at all, so Emma will actually wear them) and we tried them on, and figured out that one pair will fit. Then on to the shoe store, and got some nice dress shoes for me and Jeff, ballet shoes for Emma, and new tennies for Bridey, who had outgrown hers (again!) Then on to Maggie's checkup. She is now 25 inches long (and half of that is in her torso! Literally, 12 1/2 inches...) and weighed 14 lbs. 7 ounces at her check (right after throwing up, hadn't eaten for a while, and with a bone-dry diaper!) That's the 75th %tile for height, 50th for weight. The doctor was very pleased. She slurped down her Tylenol, more evidence of her readiness for solids (she's been just CRAVING them for a while now... The doctor okayed her to eat them because she has good head control, is 4 months, has just about doubled her birth weight, and is SO wanting them!) She got 3 shots, the same ones she got last time (everything recommended except for the rotavirus vaccine, which we are not comfortable giving her at this time.) She was pretty good the whole time but did not like the shots. I took Ems and Bridey out while she got the shots, and while we waited I weighed them, too. They've gained some weight (after holding steady for 1/2 a year for Bridget and almost 2 years for Emma!) Emma weighed 37 1/2 lbs. fully clothed and shoed and Bridey weighed 35 lbs. They were running around too much to get them measured or I would have measured them too, I know Bridey especially has been shooting up!
Sunday morning we ALL made it to church for the first time in, well, a while. Sunday evening I thought I had a meeting but I had put it down for the wrong day... Ooops. Oh, well, it was the same time as stake choir practice so at least I made that. I'll miss part of it next week but that's okay. I'm not overly fond of the first piece we're doing or the hymn, but we're doing what I think is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE (even though the women don't sing until the end) arrangement of "The Spirit of God." Love it! Bridey and Emsie played at Grandma Pam's house during practice. Maggie was good and slept most of the time.
Today we went to Target again (we'd forgotten some things; Jeff also wanted a new vaccum. Got a nice one on sale for $75.) Went to the grocery store and picked up some yogurt and ice cream and other treats and such. Came home and I made falafel; my dad came by and picked some up, I like to share when I make falafel because Sheri, who does not usually like falafel, loves mine. After dinner I fed Maggie; after she nursed on both sides she ate some mashed bananas. It was her first "real" food. I think she liked it. Even accounting for what she lost down the bib, I think she got down about 1 1/2 Tbsp. of bananas, and that was AFTER nursing on both sides, remember! Hungry girl!
So that was our weekend, pretty much. (I did list some stuff on eBay, too, but that's boring. ;) ) Here are some pictures from this week:
Maggie trying mashed bananas-- "Hmmm, this is a new taste..."
...and deciding, "Hmmm, I think I like it!"
I detangled (ouch) and braided Em's hair earlier this week, she was so proud of her braids she wanted pictures. Here's the back:
From the front:
And the sides:
So that's what's up with us. :) All still kicking, just haven't had much energy to blog!